Doing a little quick maintenance which made me realize that I need to clean my mirrors etc MUCH more often than I though. Which got me to thinking, I’ve not seen any mention of cleaning the laser tube itself. A quick test with a Q-tip revealed it was in fact dirty. So if anyone is cleaning theirs, any tips for a good method?
Observations- having aligned my system(long ago) and now ordering up some SI mirrors/lens it occurs to me the HOW TO info I’ve seen is missing the mark in several areas. First I wonder just how important it is to obsess with hitting the dead center of a flat mirror, I can’t think of any valid reason, as long as you never get off to the edge where the laser beam might hit the carrier of course.
Second, IF we still want to hit dead center, seems to me using a card in front or tape etc on the mirror holder and centering on that WILL NOT result in hitting the mirror center, look at what happens as you move the target out from the mirror, draw a picture of this if you can’t visualized it.
Also burn thrus on the target will be depositing soot on the mirror(yes I know the idea is to use enough material on the target so as NOT to burn thru, but it happens). So what is needed are mirror sized, same thickness, disks to go in place of the mirror as aiming targets. This eliminates the soot and will show the true impact point.